'Slam' star releases new collection of poetry
June 6, 1999
(CNN) -- Brooklyn-based actor, poet and performer Saul Williams has released a new book entitled "She," a collection of interconnected poems with a hip-hop feel, accompanied by a CD of the author reading excerpts of his work.
"She," published by MTV Pocket Books, is inspired by Williams' experiences. It includes illustrations by Marcia Jones, with whom Williams has had a relationship since 1995.
The star and co-writer of the award-winning 1998 film "Slam," Williams has long been known in New York's spoken-word scene. Born in Newburgh, New York, in 1972 to a preacher father and a schoolteacher mother, he says he learned to love both the spoken and written word.
"I was always making up rhymes," he says. "But I never thought that poetry would become my life."
In "She," the poetry runs the gamut, from snapshots about human interaction to multiple-page tales of family and violence. He also touches lightly -- yet with strong words -- on human strengths and weaknesses:
A thread of introspective and personal observations weaves throughout the small book and accompanying CD:
Williams attended Morehouse College in Atlanta and graduated with a B.A. in philosophy. He then moved to New York City to work on a masters degree in acting at New York University, and it was there he first entered the New York poetry world. "It was a great moment in my life," he said. "It felt like a calling."
He has also worked on several documentaries including "Underground Voices," SlamNation" and the PBS film "I'll Make Me a World."
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